Here comes the time to write yet another blog, and I am shocked at how fast time passed by since the summer school.
However, I am also quite surprised by the fact that I don’t have much to say for this blog, and who else to ask when you’re in need of ideas but the good old Google, and thus came the truly random Google search of “what to do when you don’t have anything to write in your blog.” Surprisingly, I did come across a web page, which happened to be the first one and which had what seemed to be a useful hint for my blog topic. According to this website, I had to think about what might be useful for my audience and since my blog is mainly meant for the other ESRs, I tried to come up with some theme which we might all contemplate and perceive differently, especially during our Phd endeavors: TIME.
The objective perception of time seems to be a matter of quantified seconds, hours, years, decades, etc. Subjectively, however, we strive to measure our lives in moments past and present, according to their significance, choosing to store in our mind, for instance, moments of fear stepping for the first time in a foreign country, the excitement of obtaining results at the end of a laborious experiment, the joy of first recognizing love in the eyes of your partner, the sadness in your parents’ eyes as you bid them your first and your last goodbye. Therefore, it is our memories that define how much we lived life in the end, how much “time” we really stored in our recollections, and I think it could be the reason why I haven’t felt the actual passing of time, lately. What I remember as regards the last two months is the humid air of Prague and being in your company while we were all laughing and sharing our own story towards and within our ESR journeys, a day of visiting the enchanting Uppsala, and suddenly having Aris here, but other than that, the rest is blank. Why, still? One naïve speculation could be that a repetitive lifestyle leaves little to be registered and carefully stored in our private collection of valuable moments. Anyhow, whatever the reason might be, I think it’s time to pay more attention to the way I am spending my life, to the memories that I am in the process of making, not only to the way I should remember my life at the end, but more importantly to how I can still bring a higher sense of usefulness and purposefulness to it. It is perhaps time I took one step back to look at how I impact the lives of the people I love, those constantly present in my collection of memories, to what I do to care for them and for those around me and, not least importantly, to the way I can show my gratitude to the world through my work.
Leaving aside my contemplation and coming back to the world outside of it, the summer here in Sweden was unusually warm, having been considered one the hottest summers on record, despite its not unpleasant never-ending days. However, as September is approaching, autumn can be felt in more bearable temperatures and the return of rainy days. Undergraduates have already started to come back with their ubiquitous chatter, bringing the campus back to life. I am as well starting to attend new classes, while in the evening I am reading about some of the topics I used to be interested in in order to keep my memory fresh and “elastic” so as to make space for whatever “memories” are to come.
I hope everyone has had a nice summer so far, and that the start of the new academic year is already bringing enthusiasm and serendipity in everyone’s personal and academic life.